North Point Recreation Area
Guide

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Introduction

Located on the banks of the Missouri River in South Dakota, North Point Recreation Area is an excellent aquatic RV retreat with a wide range of activities to keep the whole family busy. The Missouri River has excellent fishing, and you can easily get onto the water with the park’s boat ramp. There is also a marina near the campground where you can rent small boats, kayaks, and canoes.

The park also has a network of hiking trails that wander along the banks of the river. Many of these trails can be used for mountain biking as well. The forests near the river are packed with wildlife, including hundreds of bird species that visit throughout the year. If you come during the summer, you can take part in a number of interpretive programs and guided kayaking trips that teach you more about the park’s history and natural wonders.

The RV campground has over 100 sites to choose from, all of which have electrical hookups for your rig. The campground is right by the park’s swimming beach, as well as the marina and boat launch.

RV Rentals in North Point Recreation Area

Transportation in North Point Recreation Area

Driving

North Point State Recreation Area is located in southeastern South Dakota, just across the border from Nebraska. The park’s roads are easy to navigate, so campervans should have few problems. The roads will occasionally flood after heavy rain since the park is right next to the Missouri River.

Driving from Pierre, take I-90 east from the city and you will get to the park in a little over two and a half hours. If you are coming from Omaha, take I-29 north to SD-50 and you will get to the park in around four hours.

Once you arrive at the park, the campground is a straight shot from the main entrance. The campground is designed to fit fairly large rigs (up to about 100 feet) so you should have few issues getting around the park and reaching your site. There is some occasional flooding, as the park is right on the shores of the river, so drive with caution after heavy rain.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in North Point Recreation Area

Campsites in North Point Recreation Area

Reservations camping

North Point State Recreation Area Campground

The campground found within the park has 115 sites, all of which have electrical hookups. There are restrooms and drinking water available within walking distance of all of the sites. There is firewood available on the edge of the campground, as well as a dump station. The campground is pet-friendly, so long as you keep your dog on a leash at all times.

The park’s main swimming area is located in the middle of the campground. You’ll also be near the park’s hiking and biking trails, playgrounds, and picnic areas. If you want to get to the marina at Fort Randall, head north out of the campground.

All of the sites in the campground can be booked online in advance. The campground is quite popular during the summer months, so you should try to reserve your spot as early as possible.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in North Point Recreation Area

In-Season

Fishing

The Missouri River also makes for a great fishing spot when you leave the camper or trailer. You’ll find a wide range of different species in the waters, including catfish, sturgeon, sauger, and carp. You can fish from the shore, or take a boat out onto the river. The waters stay fairly active throughout the year, although anglers tend to get the most bites in mid spring and late summer.

There is a boat launch located just to the north of the park’s campground. You can also easily reach the marina at Fort Randall, which is just up the road from the park.

Interpretive Programs

The park also plays host to a number of interpretive programs throughout the summer. These programs highlight the local nature in the park, as well as provide entertainment for kids. Learn more about the butterflies that live in the surrounding areas, or take a guided kayaking trip down the Missouri River.

Program schedules vary widely depending on the time of year. Check with the park office or go to their website to see upcoming events, as well as times. Most programs are free, although some may charge a small fee.

Canoeing and Kayaking

Set along the Missouri River, North Point Recreation Area is the perfect destination for kayaking and canoeing. The shaded shoreline is packed with wildlife, including a wide variety of bird species. Bald eagles often visit the park shortly after their eaglets hatch, and can be seen hunting along the river.

The park has a marina where you can rent small boats, canoes, and kayaks, as well as life vests. There is a boat launch just north of the campground that you can easily reach via the park’s main road.

Off-Season

Playing Sports

The park also features a number of recreational facilities to keep you busy throughout your stay. There is a rifle and trapshooting range near the park’s main area, as well as an archery range. All of the recreation areas are open for use by RV campers.

There is also a volleyball court near the swimming beach, as well as horseshoes. Multiple picnic tables are dotted throughout the area, if you want to relax and have lunch.

Birdwatching

You'll want to make sure you pack binoculars in your rig before you head out. The shores of the river are home to dozens of bird species, making the park an excellent destination for birdwatchers. You’ll be able to spot rare species such as Clark’s grebe and western grebe, as well as bald eagles, green heron, and stilt sandpiper.

Check with the park office for more information on the local birds. You can also find educational information on the websites of many of South Dakota’s audubon societies. They may have field guides and bird checklists, and can tell you the best times of the year to visit for specific bird species.

Hiking

Once you’ve dried off, you can head to the park’s network of hiking trails that lead along the Missouri River. The park also offers a number of guided hikes during the summer, where you can learn more about the park’s history and wildlife.

The trails lead directly into the RV campground, so you won’t have to go far to access them. Most of the park’s hiking trails are also open to biking. Check with the park office for a full trail map.

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